This morning was a real thrill for me. Steve Wozniak, Apple’s co-founder, gave me, and about 20 other journalists, a tour through computing history while giving us a sneak peak at the 25,000-square foot new “Revolutions” exhibit, which opens January 13th. Here’s a panoramic photo of Woz doing an interview in front of the Apple I inside the personal computer exhibit, which is only a small part of the Revolutions exhibit. It wasn’t lost on me that I was the first one to use the new Occipital iPhone app, just released this week, to make this image.
Harry McCracken has a great writeup of the Woz part of the tour. Go and read that.
Next week we’ll have our videos of this event, plus a private interview Woz gave us, up on Building43.
It was a great thrill talking with Woz again. For those who don’t know, he really got me started in technology journalism, both by being my first celebrity interview (I met him while we both took classes together at West Valley Community College) but later I talked him into donating $40,000 worth of Macs (back in 1989) to our journalism department and Rich Cameron, the journalism teacher back then, made me set them up and learn how to make them really work. It was the best educational experience I’ve ever had and one I’ll always be in debt to both Steve and Rich for.
I talked with Woz about growing up in Cupertino, just a short distance from Apple Computer (now just called, well, “Apple”) and I told him I helped Hyde Jr. High unbox its first Apple II computers back in 1977 (I was in the first computer club back then) and that my mom worked for Hildy Licht building Apple II mother boards (she hired me to stuff the boards — I earned a few cents allowance for each one we did).
Anyway, the new museum exhibit is pretty damn cool. If you are a geek it’s a must-visit. Bring a kid and try to inspire him or her to do the next innovations.
Here’s an audio interview I did with the museum’s CEO, John Hollar, right after Woz gave us his tour.
We’ll be there for the official opening on January 13th, too (there’ll be another press preview on January 11th — none of the exhibits today were finished, so it’ll be interesting to see it after it’s all put together).
Of course, at the end, I asked Woz which iPhone apps he likes the most. Siri, he started out. One of my favorite interviews this year was done with the team that funded Siri.
I’ll get back in touch with him to talk more about iPhone apps he uses. He was being pulled to do something else, and we didn’t get to cover that in enough depth. Anyway, what a day and what a great museum.